Audio discredits Trump's claim that White House official 'doesn't exist'

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Media types rushed to The New York Times' defense, claiming they heard a White House official say the "impossible" line in a background briefing they were privy to.

A recording of the key part of the Thursday briefing, discussing the timing issues of the summit meeting, appeared on Twitter after Mr. Trump's tweet on Saturday. On Thursday, for example, a senior White House official told reporters that even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be impossible, given the lack of time and the amount of planning needed.

The Washington Post, which participated in the briefing, agreed to the rules as laid out by White House press officials at the time, which were to refer to the briefer as a senior White House official.

"There's been an enormous amount of preparation that's gone on over the past few months at the White House, at State and with other agencies and so forth, but there's a certain amount of actual dialogue that needs to take place at the working level with your counterparts to ensure that the agenda is clear in the minds of those two leaders when they sit down to actually meet and talk and negotiate and hopefully make a deal", the official said.

On Thursday President Donald Trump canceled the summit that had been planned for June 12.

Trump has indicated he thinks the talks may still be able to take place on June 12 and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Saturday an administration pre-advance team was enroute to Singapore to arrange logistics.

In a story for Saturday's paper, The New York Times pointed out the disconnect between what Trump was saying and what his aides had been saying.

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A more plausible explanation is that the president is a reality television star who doesn't understand or care about what happens in the White House, so long as it doesn't expose his own inadequacies. The AP reporter in attendance questioned why the briefing was not on the record - meaning that the official's name could be used.

Several White House reporters responded to the tweet, insisting that the Times did, in fact, use real people.

The official noted that "there's really not a lot of time - we've lost quite a bit of time that we would need" to prepare for the summit meeting. The tweet was still live Saturday night.

The on-again, off-again summit between the USA and North Korea has caused apparent confusion within the White House, as the president and his senior staff are now saying two different things-first, about whether a meeting between the two heads of state would be productive, and then about when it might be scheduled.

On Friday, Mr. Trump said, "It could even be the 12th". "It's so fake, it's so made up".

On May 4, he attacked NBC News, saying in a tweet, "They cite "sources" which are constantly wrong. They're like novelists. I call them novelists".

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